A SIMPLE SONG
By Melody Carlson Revell
280 pages, $12.99
After the sudden death of her grandmother, a singing legend, Katrina Yoder is curious about what it would be like to live her dream as a professional singer. But Katrina is Amish, and her family does not agree with singing for "vainglory." When Katrina's friend encourages her to audition for the TV show, American Star, Katrina thinks it is out of the question. However, when her dad's crippling back injury worsens and his only relief would be an expensive surgery, Katrina's bold move reveals a whole new side to her and helps her father along the way.
Although there is no questionable material in the book, it has serious weaknesses. We are never told the main character's age, nor are we given much description of her. Also, in trying to allude to some Amish dialect, the dialogue is awkward and unconvincing. The Amish setting is visual, and the TV show in the story almost perfectly mirrors American Idol. I would recommend this novel for a middle school library. Girls in their pre-teens may enjoy Katrina's story and the Amish perspective.
Book Review by Hillary Jo Foreman, a student of professional writing in the summer CRAM program at Taylor University.